Genetics & Breeding
Before conception even occurs, throughout training, and until the end of its working career, a Seeing Eye® dog has been directed to its special destiny with the benefit of science. Today, The Seeing Eye leads the way in its research in canine genetics, breeding, disease control, and behavior.
Much of our research is driven by the fact there is no “perfect Seeing Eye® dog.” Variations in temperament, size, strength, stride, and energy are characteristics that must be closely matched to create a successful partnership. From developing a computer information system that calculates the suitability of every dog in the colony to become a breeder, to funding cutting edge research in DNA sequencing, The Seeing Eye is the leader in building, if not the “perfect dog,” then certainly the most healthy, productive, predictable, and reliable dog guides possible.
The Seeing Eye breeds German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and Lab/golden crosses. Our breeding station, dedicated in 2002, consists of interconnected geometric pavilions, designed so that dogs can see each other and see people enter the kennel, so barking –not to mention stress – are greatly reduced. The goal was to provide a facility most conducive to a positive early childhood experience for the puppies and to providing a healthy, active lifestyle for the adult dogs.
The Seeing Eye breeds its own dogs for the program: German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers. Female dogs produce four litters and male dogs sire up to 15 litters before they are matched with a student or are adopted by a loving family. Here a mother rests with her new babies.